Vonn Bell

NFC Notes: Redskins, Scherff, Ajayi, Saints

With Zack Martin recently signing a six-year, $84MM contract ($40MM guaranteed) with the Cowboys, Kareem Copeland of The Washington Post says Redskins guard Brandon Scherff is line for a big extension. The lineman has already earned a pair of Pro Bowl nods during his two seasons in the NFL, and he was rated as one of the best guards in the league per Pro Football Focus. Furthermore, with the organization looking to protect their investment in quarterback Alex Smith, it only makes sense to lock in their offensive line.

Fortunately for Scherff, it sounds like the team is more than willing to keep him around.

“His work ethic is off the charts,” said offensive line coach Bill Callahan. “He’s a guy that continually challenges you as a coach and every day wants to get better, wants to know specifically what he needs to work on to improve. We go over that list continually.

“He’s a guy that you just love to coach because you tell him one time and he gets it and he’s got it. You can do a lot of different things with him because he has that type of versatility and that type of adaptability as well.”

Scherff is set to earn $705K in 2018, but that will be bumped to $12.525MM in 2019 when the Redskins presumably pick up his fifth-year option.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Jay Ajayi is expected to sit atop the Eagles depth chart next season, but Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia says that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll have have 20-plus carries per game. Rather, the writer expects Ajayi to collect less than 200 total carries on the season, especially when you consider the team’s depth at the position and Ajayi’s persistent knee issues. Acquired in a trade with the Dolphins midseason, the running back ultimately appeared in seven games (one start) for the Eagles in 2017, compiling 408 rushing yards and one score on 70 carries. He also collected 42 carries in the playoffs, including a nine-carry, 57-yard performance in the Super Bowl.
  • After being released by the Panthers in February, safety Kurt Coleman quickly signed a three-year deal with the Saints that contained more than $6MM in guaranteed money. It sounds like the organization had high hopes when they signed the defensive back to the contract, as Larry Holder of NOLA.com says Coleman could end up replacing Vonn Bell in the starting lineup. The 30-year-old played in 12 games for Carolina last season, compiling 76 tackles and three passes defended. On the flip side, Bell, 23, was plenty productive last year, finishing with 83 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
  • We learned yesterday that Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham is facing a one-game suspension.

Draft Signings: Saints, Bell, Raiders

Today’s draft signings:

  • The Saints announced that the signing of second-round safety Vonn Bell, as Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune tweets. With Bell in the fold, fourth-round defensive tackle David Onyemata stands as the team’s only unsigned pick. When describing Bell’s game, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer once remarked, “He has the skill set of a corner. How many safeties can cover a No. 2 receiver?,” (link via NFL.com).
  • The Raiders have announced the signing of fifth-round draft pick DeAndre Washington, a running back from Texas Tech, as Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com writes. Washington was drafted to help give Oakland support behind leading rusher Latavius Murray. In a recent interview with KGMZ-FM in San Francisco, Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie had high praise for the tailback. “DeAndre, he’s more than just a third-down back,” McKenzie said, via the team’s website. “He can pound it up in there. The Raider Nation will find out fast just how physical he is.” Oakland has now signed four of its seven draft picks with only three to go: second-round defensive end Jihad Ward, third-round defensive end/outside linebacker Shilique Calhoun, and sixth-round outside linebacker Cory James.

Saints Acquire 61st Pick From Patriots

The Saints acquired the 61st pick from the Patriots in exchange for Nos. 78 and 112, reports Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (Twitter link). New Orleans then selected Ohio State safety Vonn Bell. The Patriots, meanwhile, now have three third-round picks.

Bell will join a a Saints defense that allowed the second-most passing yards in the NFL last season and hauled in just nine interceptions. Bell picked off nine passes himself during his three-year tenure with the Buckeyes and should play a prominent role in New Orleans’ defensive backfield.

Schrager’s Latest: Joseph, Kelly, Giants

Earlier tonight, Peter Schrager of FOX Sports took to Twitter to pass along his latest draft buzz. Here’s a rundown of everything:

NFC Draft Rumors: Falcons, Bucs, 49ers

The Falcons are on the lookout for an upgrade at right guard, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com writes. Last year’s starter, Chris Chester, would like to return to Atlanta, so he could be one option. Other than that, the Falcons have Mike Person, but they’re not terribly high on him. Atlanta could find their right guard solution in the draft and multiple sources tell McClure that they like UCLA offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch as an interior lineman. The Bruins right tackle recently worked out for Atlanta brass and made a solid impression. Benenoch, a likely later-round pick, has drawn attention for teams because of his ability to play four of the five spots on the offensive line.

  • Ohio State safety Vonn Bell told SiriusXM NFL Radio (on Twitter) that all of his visits and workouts are in the books. In addition to previously reported teams, Bell noted that he has visited the Buccaneers.
  • Cal wide receiver Darius Powe looked sharp in a recent workout for the 49ers, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com tweets. Next up for Powe is a Saturday workout with the Cowboys.
  • Missouri Western offensive tackle Leonard Wester worked out for the Cardinals on Wednesday, Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets.
  • Stanford guard Joshua Garnett says that he has only visited the Bears thus far, though he has had many private workouts, as Eric Branch as the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Garnett could wind up as a second-round pick.
  • Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland is scheduled to visit the Falcons on Sunday and Monday, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com writes.

NFC Draft Updates: Eagles, Hackenberg, Ifedi

A report last Thursday indicated that Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg had a workout lined up with the Eagles this week, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that it will happen tomorrow.

As Rapoport notes, Philadelphia is taking a look at all of the top QB prospects in this year’s draft class, so the club will be an interesting one to keep an eye on in three weeks. While some observers are convinced that new head coach Doug Pederson and the Eagles will take a signal-caller early, others believe it’s just a smoke-screen.

As we wait to see exactly what Pederson, Howie Roseman, and Co. have up their sleeves, let’s check in on some other draft updates from around the NFC….

  • We heard on Wednesday that Texas A&M tackle Germain Ifedi has a busy schedule of pre-draft visits and workouts. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle adds a couple more teams to the list of potential suitors for Ifedi, tweeting that the Vikings are hosting him for a visit and Seahawks assistant Tom Cable is working him out.
  • Ohio State safety Vonn Bell has a visit with the Rams on tap for early next week, per Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (Twitter link).
  • Jihad Ward of Illinois has 12 pre-draft visits lined up with teams, and is meeting with the Cardinals, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report tweets. Ward transitioned from receiver/safety to the defensive line during his time as a JUCO player. In his first year with Illinois (his junior season), he recorded 51 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, and four fumble recoveries.
  • Wisconsin safety Michael Caputo visited Washington today, Aaron Wilson tweets.
  • The Seahawks are slated to work out BYU flex tight end Terenn Houk, tweets Aaron Wilson.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Draft Rumors: Robinson, Panthers, Jets

Alabama defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson will visit the Lions, Panthers, and Jets in the coming days, Eddie Borsilli of SiriusXM tweets. Robinson, who likely projects as a defensive tackle for a team running a 4-3 scheme or a defensive end for a 3-4 defense, is considered one of the top defensive linemen available this spring. A Consensus All-American in his junior year, Robinson recorded 46 tackles (7.5 for a loss) to go along with his 3.5 sacks. After helping his team win a National Championship this past season, Robinson seems poised to enter the league as a first-round draft pick.

The latest draft rumors:

  • Multiple teams have taken Bowling Green wide receiver Roger Lewis and Arizona wide receiver Cayleb Jones off their boards due to off-field issues, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report tweets.
  • UCLA offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch is set to visit the Titans and Texans, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The athletic offensive lineman is widely viewed as a second-round prospect.
  • Stanford tight end Austin Hooper visited the Titans and Bears earlier this week, Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets. The 6’4″, 254-pound athlete is a likely top-50 pick, Getlin adds.
  • So far, Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds has had workouts with the Ravens, Patriots, and Titans, according to freelance reporter Jenna Laine (via Twitter).
  • Ohio State safety Vonn Bell has (or has had) meetings, workouts and/or visits with the Falcons, Steelers, and Titans, Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets.
  • Houston corner William Jackson III visited the Ravens last week and will meet with the Raiders on Tuesday, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • Norfolk State linebacker Deon King has worked out privately for the Broncos, Raiders, 49ers, Colts, and Washington and will visit with the Cowboys, according to Wilson. King finished his collegiate career with 372 tackles, 52.5 tackles for losses, 22 sacks, five fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles and three interceptions. King was an All-American selection and a three-time all-conference selection.

NFC Rumors: Cowboys, Giants, Lions

The latest out of the NFC:

  • Defensive end Jason Jones is still in play for the Cowboys, a source tells David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). However, the deal would have to be similar to the one-year, $1.1MM deal that Jack Crawford agreed to with Dallas on Monday.
  • Former Dolphins linebacker Kelvin Sheppard visited the Giants on Monday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • The Giants brought in offensive linemen Ben Ijalana and Byron Stingily for a visit on Monday, as Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports tweets.
  • The Lions‘ pre-draft visits are underway, and the team looked at offensive line prospects on Monday, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, who tweets that tackles Jerald Hawkins (LSU), Shon Coleman (Auburn), Caleb Benenoch (UCLA), and Jason Spriggs (Indiana) are meeting with the Lions.
  • Bowling Green center-guard Alex Huettel worked out for the Lions, a source tells Wilson (on Twitter).
  • Ohio State safety Vonn Bell has (or has had) meetings, workouts, or visits with the Cardinals and Vikings as well as the Jaguars, as Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets.
  • The Saints conducted private workout for Cal wide receiver Darius Powe on Monday, a source tells Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Powe didn’t have any drops, according to a source, and drew praise from New Orleans brass.
  • The Eagles are hosting Florida wide receiver DeMarcus Robinson on a visit, a source tells Geoff Mosher of 97.5 The Fanatic (on Twitter).

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

East Notes: Randle, Bills, Dolphins, Giants

Receiver Rueben Randle says he turned down longer deals than the modest one-year offer he accepted from the Eagles last week, according to Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com. “There were [other teams interested],” the 24-year-old said. “I just felt like it was a better opportunity for me here to showcase my talents on a one-year deal, to go out and prove myself.” Along with Jordan Matthews, Randle is one of the Eagles’ two most accomplished wideouts. Not surprisingly, then, he expects to start. “I feel confident that I will be [a starter]. That’s for me to go out there and prove,” he said.

More from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • Bills receiver Marquise Goodwin seemingly tweeted Friday that he was done with the team and then insisted it’s not an April Fools’ joke, as Ron Clements of the Sporting News writes. The Bills haven’t released Goodwin. Instead, he plans to dedicate his time and training to the upcoming Olympics, per Clements. Goodwin, twice an NCAA long jump champion at Texas, was part of the 2012 Olympics as a long jumper for the U.S. team. Since the Bills chose Goodwin in the third round of the 2012 draft, he has appeared in just 24 of 48 regular-season games and amassed 20 receptions and three touchdowns. Goodwin, 25, has one year and $675K left on his contract.
  • In other Bills news, team brass dined with six Ohio State prospects on Thursday, according to Peter Schrager of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Quarterback Cardale Jones, outside linebacker Darron Lee, cornerback Eli Apple, defensive end Adolphus Washington, offensive tackle Taylor Decker, and free safety Vonn Bell all met with a Buffalo contingent.
  • The Dolphins announced that cornerback Greg Toler‘s visit with the team has concluded, as Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald tweets. Presumably, there is no agreement between the two sides – at least, not yet.
  • Toler might not be the only free agent corner on the Dolphins’ radar, writes the Sun Sentinel’s Omar Kelly, who says the team hasn’t closed the door on signing either Leon Hall or Antonio Cromartie. Hall – a Bengal since his career started in 2007 – has a connection to new Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who was Cincinnati’s defensive backs coach the previous two seasons. Cromartie’s first stint with the Jets began via trade back in 2010, when Dolphins executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum was Gang Green’s general manager.
  • Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo admits that he’s “disappointed” he wasn’t elevated to head coach, as Ebenezer Samuel of the Daily News writes. “I’m not going to lie to you,” Spagnuolo said. “I was disappointed I wasn’t the guy . . . but I’m not giving up on my dream of being a head coach…But I like [Ben McAdoo] a lot. It was two-fold. It didn’t happen, so it was a disappointment. But it’s always nice to be wanted.”

Zach Links contributed to this report.

Draft Rumors: Cravens, Lions, Dolphins, Raiders

USC safety/linebacker Su’a Cravens says he has six visits lined up and another eight potentially on the horizon as well, Mike Florio of PFT writes. In addition to the previously reported teams with interest, Cravens says he will visit the the Lions, Raiders, and Dolphins.

Here are the latest draft rumors:

  • Maryland outside linebacker Yannick Ngakoue said he has visits scheduled with the Jaguars, Eagles, Titans, and Jets, according to Daniel Gallen of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (on Twitter) adds that the Bills and Browns both met with him today.
  • Boise State lineman Rees Odhiambo will meet with the 49ers, Saints, and Buccaneers in the next couple of weeks, agent Ron Slavin tells Jay Tust of KTVB (on Twitter).
  • Ohio State safety Vonn Bell has (or has had) meetings, workouts and/or visits with the Jets, Patriots, Panthers, and Giants, Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports tweets.
  • South Carolina offensive lineman Brandon Shell says he has individual workouts coming up with the Panthers, Ravens, and 49ers, David Caraviello of the Post And Courier tweets.
  • Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland told SiriusXM NFL Radio (on Twitter) that he has probably heard the most from the Bears, Falcons, Saints, and Dolphins. He also confirmed personal workouts with the Bears, ColtsRavens, Jaguars, Vikings, Rams, and the Bills.
  • Pitt wide receiver Tyler Boyd confirmed that he has had workouts with the Cowboys, Patriots, Chargers, and Rams (Twitter link via SiriusXM). He’ll also have formal visits with the Panthers and Cowboys next week.
  • Cincinnati wide receiver Chris Moore has visits/workouts scheduled with the Buccaneers, Panthers, Texans, Eagles, and Bengals, Jenna Laine of Sports Talk 1040 tweets.
  • Defensive line coaches from the Eagles, Titans, Steelers, and Bengals put Javon Hargrave through a workout which lasted almost 45 minutes, according to Tony Pauline for Walter Football.
  • The Cardinals are bringing in linebacker Victor Ochi for an official visit, Pauline writes.